The area spotlight moves to prep stars in the coming week with the N.C. High School state championship games playing out on Friday and Saturday.
For Triangle college sports fans, it will be a good time to get some holiday shopping completed. There’s not much going on in terms of home games due to exam week on campuses.
The Carolina Hurricanes aren’t even playing in the country in three games this week. The Canes don’t return home until a Dec. 16 game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Future gridiron stars
UNC’s Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill and N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh will hold all four football state championship games for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s four classifications.
It kicks off with the 3A title game on Friday at 7 p.m. in Kenan Stadium. Then Saturday at noon, the 1A game will be at UNC. The 2A game will be at Carter-Finley Stadium at 3 p.m. on Saturday followed by the 4A game at 7 p.m.
Fans of N.C. State and UNC football can start making plans for their respective bowl trips. The Wolfpack earned a Tier I bowl from the ACC tie-ins thanks to finishing second in the Atlantic Division.
Men’s college hoops
N.C. State men’s basketball probably needed the week off after playing an extra 20 minutes in its 104-100 win over Nebraska in four overtimes last Wednesday. The Pack step back out of ACC play after Saturday’s game against Louisville and back onto campus. Thursday’s game against Bethune-Cookman will be played in Reynolds Coliseum on campus and not down the road at PNC Arena.
N.C. State’s biggest challenge of the season so far will come on Sunday in Brooklyn. The Pack face Purdue, presumably the newly-minted No. 1 ranked team, in the Barclays Center for the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational.
Carolina will try to keep its momentum going. It will have a 4-0 record at home when it takes on Elon at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Duke has the week off from games.
Canes in Canada
The Canes head out for a three-game Canadian road swing. Carolina will play at Winnipeg on Tuesday, at Calgary on Thursday, and end their trip North with back-to-back games at Edmonton on Saturday and at Vancouver on Sunday.